Windows Phone App
One of our users, Kayle Hinkle, has created an app for those of you who use Windows Phone 8.1. It has a few limitations but I imagine Kayle is going to keep adding functionality with future releases.
The app will download your existing verses when you first login and will synchronize your progress with Memverse. At the moment it doesn't automatically synchronize new verses that you add/delete on the main website.
This is a great tool for those of you who want to memorize on the go!
Try it out and give us feedback.
Today we have released an early version of a feature that I envisioned over three years ago. Those of you who memorize extended passages of the Bible might have noticed that there is sometimes a lack of context and continuity as verses which should appear contiguously unfortunately are reviewed haphazardly over the weeks.
This is most acute in chapters such as Matthew 5-7 (the Sermon on the Mount). I think most would agree that the following verses form a logical unit and should be grouped together during review:
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
I had always hoped that as people added passages it would gradually become clear which verses should be grouped together within a passage. It turns out that is, indeed, the case. Enough users who have a heart for fasting - but less for prayer and giving - have added the above verses and not the surrounding verses and it is possible to infer that Matt 6:16-18 belong together.
Clearly this works best in sections of the Bible that are heavily memorized and less well in the minor prophets (I always think it will be awkward when we meet Obadiah one day and he asks us what we thought of his book!).
This feature is still a work in progress and I am currently the only one using it. If you like living on the edge, you can enable Synchronize Subsections on your Update Profile page. This will ensure that over time, related verses will be reviewed on the same day and the review interval will be synchronized. Please leave feedback or comments by clicking the black 'Feedback' tab on the right. We will be refining this feature over the coming months so feel free to wait if you want.
One of the disadvantages of this feature is that if you forget one verse in a subsection, the whole subsection will reset and appear to be unmemorized. If you'd like to see how your passages have been subsectioned, you can navigate to this secret page and click on the relevant passage. The last number in the list that appears shows the various subpassages.
We highly recommend that most of you wait for a few months before enabling this feature.
I hope you all have a blessed 2015.
Test Your Memorization Accuracy
We have made some changes to the accuracy test. It now has a look and feel along the lines of the reference test.
Many of us avoided every doing the accuracy test because, to be honest, it was incredibly difficult. It also took a long time to complete which made it difficult to work into one's regular sessions. The new test allows for any number of questions and your score will update continuously as you take the quiz.
It also uses a slightly better algorithm for flagging mistakes you made. The maximum score for any question is 10 points. The test will still point out differences in punctuation and capitalization but won't deduct points.
We really encourage everyone to use the accuracy test frequently. If you find that your scores on the test are very low, then you are probably grading yourself too leniently when you're doing your daily review sessions. We are, though, leaving it up to each user to decide how thoroughly and accurately they would like to know each verse. We recommend setting yourself a target accuracy and adjusting your verse rating over time.
As always, feedback is welcome in the comments or on the Feedback Forum (black tab on the right).
accuracy test, memory verses
Reviewing Your References
We have made some changes to the reference review page. Years ago, it was added as an afterthought but we've since learned that memorizing verse references is key to being able to memorize verses.
Many of you will discover that you have a LOT of references to review. We recommend just doing a few each day until the number becomes manageable. Each memory verse now has an associated interval which will increase/decrease as you review your references. As you review your references each day, you'll find that the number will decrease fairly quickly. If you're feeling overwhelmed, there is a setting on your profile page called "Test All References"; uncheck that box and Memverse will only review the reference of the first verse of each passage.
For those of you working towards a consistency badge, you don't need to complete all your references each day. Incidentally, you can now check your consistency on your progress page. (There is a new graph below the regular progress chart.)
We also recently upgraded Memverse's entire framework and moved to a new server. The new server is faster and, with all the components of the website upgraded, we can focus on improving the rest of Memverse again.
verse references, memory verses
Memory Passages Have Finally Arrived
Well, sometimes things just take a little longer than one expects. In this case, about two years longer!
A feature that has been sorely lacking in Memverse is the ability to memorize verses in the context of their containing passage. After many months of experimentation, we have released an early version of this new feature: Passage Review
Since this involved a significant number of changes to the software, it is likely that there are still kinks to be ironed out. We recommend waiting a week or so before you jump in and start using it.
memory verses, memory passages
Starting New Memory Verses
First, welcome to all the new members who were referred from Challies.com. We had 20x the usual number of signups yesterday. Great to see so many new people and looking forward to getting to know you all.
Today we want to foreshadow some upcoming changes on Memverse. We started Memverse with two motivating ideas: 1) making it simple to keep track of and review one's memory verses online and 2) using the Supermemo algorithm to efficiently retain a large number of memory verses.
Over the past three years it has become clear that there was a gap in the functionality. It is difficult to learn a new verse without an intensive period of repetition at the start. To solve this we have been working on a new feature which will allow you to get a verse 'stuck' in your head before you start the period of review. It is still a work in progress but you can try it out. It will likely evolve over the next few weeks so feedback in the comments is welcome.
Our plan is to build this page into the 'flow' of the website. More details on that in a future post.
learn, memory verses
Add a Description for Your Group
We have added the ability for groups on Memverse to add a short description of the goals of the group. We have set it up so that the leader of the group is able to easily edit the description.
Enquiring minds will want to know who the group leader is. For groups that had previously been created we have set the leader to be the person with the most completed memorization sessions. In the future, the leader will be whoever creates the group.
In the event that the leader of a group becomes 'Inactive' (hasn't memorized for a month), the leadership will pass to the person in the group with the most completed sessions. Clearly being a group leader is a miniscule honor; A more suitable term would be 'Administrator'.
We would encourage those of you leading a memory group to use the 'Description' field to encourage your group members, keep them up to speed on which memory verses they should be working on, BBQ's you'll be hosting at your home, and anything else you can dream up.
memory groups, group description
Enter Your Memory Verses with the Mnemonic
Alex has added a new feature which should enable you to get through your memory verses a bit quicker on those days when you're in a bit of rush. You can now enter just the first letter of each word in the memory verse and Memverse will treat it as though you've typed the entire verse. Memverse will automatically detect when you've entered this mode so feel free to use it whenever you need it.
You can also use it for sections of a memory verse that you know well. As soon as you type two single letters (seperated by a space), Memverse will assume that you've switched to mnemonic mode.
It will also be very helpful for those of you using an iPad (and for those of you brave enough to use your phones!).
We recommend not getting too attached to this feature as it does make it a bit easier for inaccuracies to slip in to your memorizing.
mnemonic, memory verse entry, memorizing
New Memverse Forum
It became apparent a while ago that the blog was starting to creak under the weight of the steady stream of chatter and discussion. A blog is actually not the best paradigm for hosting user discussions so we have launched a new forum.
I have been occasionally dismayed by some of the comments on the blog so would like to quote Justin Taylor from the Gospel Coalition to set the tone early on for the new forum:
I welcome blog comments, although they are often notorious for unfruitful and uncharitable discussions.
I hope this can be a place where we “seek understanding” before critiquing, where we are quick to listen and slow to speak, where we judge others charitably not critically, where we encourage and build up each other rather than tearing down and destroying each other.
I would encourage commenters to consider carefully the following commands and principles regarding our speech:
“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt” (Col. 4:6).
“By your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matt. 12:37).
“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor” (Rom. 12:10).
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Eph. 4:29).
Speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15, 25).
“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless” (James 1:26).
Over time we will appoint moderators for the forum. My bias is still towards a liberal policy as I believe that we have a community largely walking in step with the Spirit. Let's all strive to outdo one another in showing honor.
Second, please do not use the forum to report problems. Continue to use the feedback tab on the right. It is likely that as the number of users grows over time we will have less and less time to keep up with what is happening in the forum. Feel free to continue to comment on the blog posts but we will now require comments to be directly applicable to the original blog post and subsequent comments.
Finally, if there are forums that you would like added, please let us know. We'd like to avoid having too many but if there is a big category that we've missed we'll be happy to add it.
We are excited to announce that the first three badges have been released so you can start working towards earning those. Remember, the badges are supposed to be rare and difficult to achieve. It is highly unlikely that anyone will be able to earn all, or even most of, the badges.
The first badge is the 'Sermon on the Mount' badge. As you can probably guess, this badge is awarded once you have memorized Matthew 5-7.
The second badge is the 'Consistency' badge which will be awarded to people who consistently complete their memorization sessions. To earn a gold badge you will need to complete 350 memorization sessions in a year. The silver badge will require 320 and the bronze badge 280.
The final badge is the 'Referrer' badge and is awarded to those people who have done a stellar job spreading the word about Memverse. You need to have 200, 100, and 50 active referrals to earn that badge.
The badges are awarded when you complete a memorization session or when you visit the 'My Progress' page. At the moment we have it set so that you won't ever lose a badge once you've earned it.
A huge thank you to Dakota Lynch for designing the badges. I think he did an absolutely brilliant job!
Finally, we would love to hear more ideas for badges. Our plan is to keep releasing new badges over time.
Auto-complete for Memory Verse Tagging
You will notice that we have added auto-complete functionality to the tagging of verses. I think this will go a long way towards improving the tag cloud by eliminating spelling mistakes. As part of that process we have reset the tag cloud. It will rebuild itself very quickly as people continue to tag their memory verses. Please don't spoil it by typing in silly tags. This is also a great time to clear out some old, misspelled, or unused tags.
I'm very excited to announce that this feature was implemented by the newest developer to join our small, but trusty, team: Josiah. Please congratulate him and shower him with requests for changes and extensions!
Adding Memory Verses is Now Simpler
We have made sweeping changes to the page where you add memory verses. Looking back, I'm not too sure what we were thinking with the old design. We took a lot of the enhancements we made to the 'Getting Started' page and incorporated those into the new page. You should find it faster, cleaner, and more intuitive.
You can now search for verses by entering keywords (e.g. 'make every effort'), single verses (e.g. John 3:16), passages (e.g. Matthew 5:3-10) or chapters (e.g. Romans 8).
One bit of functionality that was lost along the way is support for entering references in other languages. We will hopefully have that back up and running soon.
Also, if you need to switch to a different translation, just click on the translation to change it.
add verses, add passages
A Quicker Start to Memorizing the Bible
Hi everyone! The start of 2012 sure has gone by quickly. We are now past January, the month of resolutions, and Feburary, the month of fraying resolutions. If 2012 saw you resolving to add to your stockpile of memory verses, now is a good time to renew that resolution!
Many of the changes we've made to Memverse in the first two months would have gone largely unnoticed to those of you who joined before the end of 2011. The start of this year saw us making some changes to simplify the first few minutes of the Memverse experience. We had noticed that 1/4 of the people who signed up never added a single verse. Another 1/4 would complete one memorization session and never come back.
Since we know that you're all hard at work referring people in order to advance in your levels, this state of affairs was tragic. We suspected that over the years complexity had accreted like barnacles on a ship, so we set to work simplifying the startup experience. Only new users will see these changes but we're happy with the early signs. Now, more than 90% of the people who sign up add some verses to their account. Over time, we will be merging some of these changes into the 'Add Verse' page.
If any of you happen to be looking over the shoulder of someone who is brand new to Memverse we would love to get feedback. What confused or puzzled them? What caused them to throw up their hands in despair and stomp out of the room muttering: "Where are my flash cards? Now I know why the Law was delivered on stone tablets and not via a browser!" ?
Second, we have added some more levels for those of you who just can't level up quickly enough. We promise to add more variety over time. Alongside the standard progression system, we will be gradually adding some 'badges'. There will be more to come on this topic but the first ones will probably be awarded for consistency in completed sessions. Most badges will have 3 levels (bronze, silver, gold). We are looking for someone to design some fun badges so if you have an artistic bent we would love to hear from you. We would love to have the badges designed by members of the Memverse community so try your hand at designing a set of 'Consistency' badges. (The badge dimensions should be 120 x 120 pixels and can be either round or square.) If you know someone who is a brilliant graphic designer, please ask them to help out.
badges, levels, quick start, getting started
Overloaded? Set Memory Verses to Inactive
We have finally added a long requested feature. Memory verses can now be classified as 'Memorized', 'Learning' or 'Pending'. You can manually set verses that you don't want to be working on to 'Pending' status by clicking on the verse on the 'My Verses' page. Then click on the verses status and after a few seconds it will change from 'Learning' (or 'Memorized') to 'Pending' and will no longer be included in your daily memorization schedule.
If this sounds like a lot of work, the system is set up by default to work automatically. Once you set your time allocation on your 'Profile' page, Memverse will automatically add verses from your 'Pending' list once your work load (the number reported at the end of each memorization session and on the 'Memverse Today' tab on the home page) falls below your time allocation.
There are currently a few limitations to the system that will be fixed over time: If you're already memorizing a passage and you add new verses into that passage then the verses will be automatically reviewed as part of the passage and will no longer be classified as 'Pending'.
Whether you plan to use this feature or not, it is important that you set your daily time allocation so that Memverse knows roughly how many verses to present you with each day. If you currently have many more verses than you can handle, then this would be a good time to go and set some of them to 'Pending'.
pending verses, inactive verses
Two new features
There are two new features that you might not have noticed with all the changes on Memverse:
- Accuracy test results - at the end of the accuracy test the final results page will now show you the difference betweeen what you entered and the actual memory verse text. It shows every difference so even minor differences that wouldn't result in you getting the question wrong (e.g. incorrect capitalization, omitting dashes) are shown.
- Reset your schedule - if you've ever gone on vacation you'll know that returning to hundreds of overdue verses can be quite daunting! On the home page, on the 'Memverse Today' tab, you can now reset your schedule. Anytime you have too many overdue verses you will be given the option to re-allocate those verses over the following few memorization sessions. This is for those of you who, like me, prefer to have a sense of completion each day as you gaze fondly at your progress chart.
schedule reset, accuracy test